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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, who climbed Sierra Road to watch the race on Tuesday? I climbed it with a couple of friends. There were many hundreds (maybe 1000 or 2000) cyclists near the summit of the climb. Since the road was closed to cars 5 hours before the racers arrived, I assume that most of those people rode their bikes all the way up the hill (2000 foot vertical with a 10% average grade, several sections over 20%). You need to be a fairly good cyclist to ride all the way to the top and I didn't realize there were that many serious cyclists in the bay area. How many of you were up there?
 

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I didn't ride but I walked about 1/2 way up or so and was giving push starts to those that stalled out at one of the steeper sections. It was an awesome time
 

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I walked about a quarter mile up the steep part...

I thought that would be where someone would attack - no one did, at least not there. I was close to Piedmont so I walked over and watched them go by again. Levi was leading a break with Hincapie's group in hot persuit. I was standing near a guy who could identify all the riders as they passed by at 30 mph.

I made the mistake of parking on the hill side of Piedmont, and I had to wait a while until the last guys passed. Almost missed a meeting with my boss.
 

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johnny99 said:
So, who climbed Sierra Road to watch the race on Tuesday? I climbed it with a couple of friends. There were many hundreds (maybe 1000 or 2000) cyclists near the summit of the climb. Since the road was closed to cars 5 hours before the racers arrived, I assume that most of those people rode their bikes all the way up the hill (2000 foot vertical with a 10% average grade, several sections over 20%). You need to be a fairly good cyclist to ride all the way to the top and I didn't realize there were that many serious cyclists in the bay area. How many of you were up there?
I made it to the top, but it was a beast. It didn't help that I was carrying a backpack with about 15 pounds worth of camera equipment, clothing, and other stuff (not to mention the 10 extra pounds I'm carrying all the time now!). I can't wait to go back and ride it without the backpack.

I was trying to decide if Sierra was worse than Metcalf. Metcalf has a fairly constant steepness, but it's also shorter by half.
 

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conquered

I made it to the top of Sierra and noted that it took me 35 minutes. Later I found out that the leaders of the tour made it up the hill around 20 minutes. Pretty knarly climb...and it didn't help that Tuesday was the first time doing it!

I work in the North SJ area and my buddies and I are planning to ride it again on Friday. Wish me luck.
 

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I rode it. I grew up in the bay area and I've ridden around here since the 80s but somehow I never heard of Sierra rd before. It was tough! The constant change in pitch makes it hard to get into a rythm. I rode Mt Hamilton first, although not all the way to the top because I thought I was running out of time and with the sand on the road I didn't want to have to bomb down the descent. But it turned out that I had plenty of time. It was probably good that I didn't do all of Hamilton as I was pretty tired from a long ride on monday.

I think a fun ride would be Mt Hamilton front and back, then Sierra. Some of the guys I was hanging around with at the top said that Sierra just bakes in the summer. Mmm, fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A classic bay area loop ride is to go up Sierra, then down Felter, and right on Calaveras. Calaveras takes you north to Sunol, then continue north on Foothill to Dublin. Turn left on Dublin Canyon Road and return south on Palomares, Niles Canyon, and Mission/Piedmont. Distance is about 65 miles. Traffic is very light except for the short downhill section of Niles Canyon (Hwy 84).
 

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I have never tried Sierra road before. Can someone compare it with the Bohlman or Montebello climbs? There are 2 sides of the climbs, whihc way is the toughtest?

Thanks,
gearbolt
 

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I rode it Friday...

and I would say Bohlman is tougher and more interesting. Seirra felt longer and the descent is fun but the ride from my house in Willow Glen kinda sucked, lot's of lights and traffic...I prefer heading to Saratoga via Camden-Hicks-Kennedy-9. My 2 pennies.

Funny story--- As I was descending Felter I passed a 40 someting year old dude on a Magna full suspension rig climbing sans helmet, shorts, even sunglasses. I figured he must live there or something....until I passed him again on Peidmont Road! He climbed Seirra on a 40lb+ crapola bike!!!! I suck. Granted he rode the "easy" side...I still suck. I love humility.
 

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gearbolt said:
I have never tried Sierra road before. Can someone compare it with the Bohlman or Montebello climbs? There are 2 sides of the climbs, whihc way is the toughtest?

Thanks,
gearbolt
The Sierra road climb is exactly like the lower part of Montebello (up to the school). The pitch is the same. To get the same length and altitude gain, do Montebello twice to the school.

francois
 

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Scenes from Sierra

<img src="https://mtbr.com/author/photos/tourofca/sierraroad1.jpg">

<img src="https://mtbr.com/author/photos/tourofca/img_6371.jpg">

<img src="https://mtbr.com/author/photos/tourofca/img_6356.jpg">

<img src="https://mtbr.com/author/photos/tourofca/img_6342.jpg">
 

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A good challenge for the day would be to start in Milpitas and follow Calaveras into the east foothills, contiue past Ed Levin Park on Felter, and then descend Sierra Road. Turn left on Piedmont Road and another left on Penitencia Creek Road. Ride part way to Alum Park and turn right at the T-intersection. This road puts you at the top of Alum Rock where you can access the base of Mt. Hamilton Road. Continue climbing until your legs fall off. Really ambitious riders can continue up and over Mt. Hamilton to Mines Road, then loop back to Milpitas via Livermore, Pleasanton and the backside of Calaveras.

108 miles round-trip (YMMV). Elevation gain is unknown because the few times I've done this ride was without an altimeter.
 

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Thanks Francis

It was good seeing you. Hopefully I can soon get into good enough shape to ride with you.

here are a couple more
 
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